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HACKERS BECOMING MORE SOPHISTICATED

Source: United Press International

Posted on November 15, 2006

      PC Advisor reported Nov. 11 that virus writers and hackers are using increasingly subtle methods to ensure that their programs are increasingly difficult to detect and remove from computer and network systems.

      Researchers on software security have noticed an increasing use of code mutation techniques designed to evade detection by signature-based malware blocking tools, code fragmentation that makes disinfecting systems harder and code concealment through rootkits.

      Sana Security principal researcher Matthew Williamson, speaking at the Computer Security Institute trade show in Orlando, said the newer malware programs differed from mass-mailing worms such as MS Blaster and SQL Slammer and that their designers have written them in such a way to attempt to conceal them on infected computers to remain undetected for as long as possible.

      The new computer viruses are designed not only to infect as many systems as possible but to target and specifically steal data from infected systems.

      According to Williamson, many of the new viruses being seen by computer security researchers use polymorphic code that constantly mutates or include "packers" to encrypt malware to evade detection. Combined with different routines for decrypting the code, the viruses are are capable of creating an unlimited number of mutations.




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